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Frome’s Community champions celebrated

Mayor of Frome, Toby Eliot (centre), with civic award winners Cathy and Roxy (on behalf of Griff Daniels), Jane Norris and Rupert Kirkham

FROME’S unsung community heroes were celebrated last week at the Annual Town Meeting – the first meeting at the new Frome Town Hall.

Mayor of Frome, cllr Toby Eliot awarded the Civic Awards to Rupert Kirkham, director of FromeFM, Jane Norris, of the Frome branch of the Royal British Legion and, posthumously, to Griff Daniel for work in developing a vibrant live music scene in Frome.

Cllr Eliot said, “As the mayor you meet hundreds of people. Names and faces swim by across the weeks and months and it’s impossible to remember them all, even though the vast majority of them do wonderful things in our town.

“There are, however, some who crop up again and again often in different circumstances and wearing different hats. Today I’m celebrating the contribution of three people who, with donations of time, effort, ingenuity and passion, have transformed the way that their part of Frome works. All three have given their time voluntarily.”

On handing out the awards, the mayor said the following about each winner:

Rupert Kirkham

“This man has taken on a director’s role at FromeFM and is contributing by ensuring that the community activity is fully covered. This includes being the host of the regular show All About Frome

“With my focus on widening participation and opening up democracy, it feels appropriate that my first award is for Rupert Kirkham for his leadership at FromeFM and his willingness to document so much of what goes on in Frome.”

Jane Norris

“Jane Norris has for the last few years as chair of the local Royal British Legion designed, coordinated and conducted an act of remembrance that suits this town so well –  that despite what may be happening elsewhere in the country, the Frome Remembrance Sunday event is growing in the numbers who attend. Jane was involved with Singers, the Memorial Theatre and Nick White in relocating the statue of Sgt Charlie Robins to just across the road and has built on that success to deliver an event that considers military contribution to our freedom in a truly civic way.”

Griff Daniels

“My final award is a special and personal one. At a time when I was getting back into playing music, he gave me and my band many opportunities and was only ever encouraging – we were far from the only ones.

“Griff Daniels was known throughout the town for his amateur dramatics (panto legend!) and his charity/fundraising work. I want to honour him for the passion he showed in developing Frome’s live music scene.

“Griff sadly passed away at the end of last year. My life and Frome’s music scene are poorer without him, but we can celebrate almost every night of the week when we go and enjoy live music in Frome.”

Griff’s wife Cathy and daughter Roxy collected the award on Griff’s behalf.